The Injured Runner Award

The Injured Runner Award

I was thinking last night, boy I know several runners who are down and out at the moment.  Some can’t run at all (like me) and some can run, but it is painful.

The roughest part of running is not running.  When you get injured, your daily routine gets disturbed.  Your daily endorphin fix is no longer available.  Your stress had no outlet.

It is tough.

For me, I am putting up my running shoes.  I made an appointment with a orthopedic sports medicine doctor and will see what he thinks.  I know time will probably fix my problems, but better safe than sorry.

So, although this isn’t a real award or nomination, I thought I’d list a few of the recent blogs entries of people who are dealing with injuries or recovering from injuries.  Take a moment and go to their blogs and write a comment.  It is something we all have to deal with.  Also, if you know of other injured runners, feel free to post a link to their blog in the comments.

Life is tough without running and encouragement from other runners is like a life line.

Here is my list:

BigBigGeek

Running to Her Dreams

Jane Likes to Run

The Quinquagenarian Runner

Thanks again for the help and advice with my injuries.  I will probably take the next 4 weeks off which is tough as I’ve already taken about 5 weeks off (not consecutive) since my marathon. I’ve been thinking of changing my blog name to WalkingToBoston.  Maybe not!

Have an awesome weekend.

Tom

Not running makes me appreciate running all the more

I’m still walking.  Ugh.  I did get to jog a little the other day.  Not a run, but a jog.  Very slow.  My hip was feeling stiff, but not hurting.  Suddenly I felt a tug in my achilles and… I had to limp home.

This is crazy.  Right now I am chalking it up to my marathon.  Looking back, I ran my first marathon less than 18 months after I started running.  At 50 years old, maybe that was too much.  Not that anyone could have told me that at the time.

Now it has been one thing after another keeping me from running.  That is probably best for me right now.  I did try my Brooks PureFlow 2 shoes yesterday and they felt awesome.  Of course I was only walking in them.  When I started my walk, I was limping with my achilles.  About a half mile into it, the limp went away and I felt pretty good (other than the blister I got on both heals toward the end).

So the saga continues.  I hope to one day look back and think, “wow, you really did push through a lot to get back to running”.

I think I will appreciate running more after I get over all of this.

A good run on a bad day

Have you ever had one of “those days”?

Yesterday was one of “those days” for me.  No issue with anyone in particular.  My work went well and my family was well, but I felt lousy. Angry. Bugged. Unhappy.  Really there was no reason for my mood.  I guess it was just a Monday.

So what could I do? I got home from work and ran as hard as I could. Well not as hard as I could, but hard.

My first mile is usually a warmup mile and not very fast, but yesterday it was run at 8:01 and half of that was up hill (of course the other half was down hill 🙂 ).

photoSunday and yesterday was the first time since March that had two consecutive days under an 8:15 pace per mile.  It really did feel good.  I pushed my run hard for the first two miles making the second mile at a 7:34 pace.  The third mile was slower and I was tired.  However, I was able to keep my pace at 8:46 and the fourth mile at 8:29.  Finally the last small part of my run (about a tenth of a mile) I sprinted at my 5K pace of 7:12.

This is what was so hard about last week.  I had no outlet.  I had no way to work off my mood.  I just had to walk and suffer through.  To be honest for most of my marathon training I wasn’t able to really push my workouts.  It was so hot and humid that I had to take things slow.

Now I feel like things are getting back to normal.  I doubt I’ll keep this pace up.  8:12 for 4 miles is a goal pace, but the heat is returning this week and also my left achilles and top of my right foot aren’t the best.   Still it is good to know that I still have strong running in me.  And with a 10K a month away, I really want to work up to 6 miles at an 8:00 pace.

It is strange to be almost a month removed from my marathon and having so many other blogs I read with people just beginning their taper.  Once again, good luck to you all.  I’m pulling for you!

Better kick makes a better run

It was a cool morning yesterday.  Yes, 59 degrees cool.  I ran well.

I only had 3 miles on my plan for yesterday, so with some encouragement from TJ, I decided to pick up the pace a bit.

I have noticed that at a faster pace my achilles/foot issues don’t seem to be as aggravated, so with the cool morning and only three miles I picked it up.

  • Mile 1 – 8:51
  • Mile 2 – 7:53
  • Mile 3 – 7:44

It felt great.  I concentrated on my form.  However this time I thought more on what my legs were doing behind me rather than in front of me.  I read something a few weeks back on the ShutDownRunner’s blog.  He mentioned about working on kicking back and getting power from his legs that way.  Also I had read in an ebook recently about the fact that it isn’t as important on what part of your foot you land on as long as it is under you and not in front of you.  

So I chose yesterday to not worry as much about where my foot landed and think more of what was happening with my legs as I pushed off.  

Does that make sense?  

Anyway, it was a good run.  That along with some breathing hints given to me by @BigBigGeek on Saturday’s run made my run much better.

My goal for this week is to run 4+ miles each day.  My weight is up a bit so I need to lose several pounds.  I’ve noticed in the past when I run at least 4 miles in a day, I lose weight if I don’t eat poorly.  

A run, a hurt achilles and hangin’ with the dog!

I had a great run yesterday with @BigBigGeek at our local State Park.  Well, the company was great, the run was a tad difficult.

We ran just over 6 miles which is good for me.  In fact it is the longest basic run I’ve had since a week before my marathon (so about a month ago) and I felt the burn.  By the end of the run my body felt as if I had just finished a 18 mile run.

One issue that has come back to life is my achilles.  I thought I had gotten past it with all the time off I’ve had to take, but it is obvious that I haven’t.  After our run on my way home I went to the supermarket.  I got out of my car and I could barely walk.  My right achilles was in so much pain.  The good news was that after I got some Blueberries for my LW and paid for them, the pain went away and didn’t come back.

Later in the day I went to a local running store and checked into getting a shoe with a higher heel/toe drop.  Their advice was to make sure I am really stretching my calf during the day.  So I gave that a shot and I’ll see how my run goes today.

I can’t finish this post without the obligatory “Hangin’ with the dog” picture.  I took this a couple of minutes ago as she was enjoying her morning snack.

The Dog enjoying her morning snack

The Dog enjoying her morning snack

Prep run for our 5K next week

Yesterday I was sent the Runners World article as it will appear in the book.  Pretty cool.  My part is about how to make running a habit and about consistency.  I was told the book will be out in January 2014, so I guess I’ll have to buy a copy.  🙂

Okay, on to running… Of course.

TJ and I ran the 5K course that my friend Neill (@bigbiggeek) picked out for us to run August 3rd.  This will be TJ and my last 5K before our marathon in September.  We figure it is a good way to keep some speed workouts going without impacting our marathon training much.

Anyhow…

This course was a killer for me.  I think some of my issue was that it was about 10 – 20 degrees hotter than it has been all week and it was sunny (it has rained all week also).  But it is in a really nice planned community.  Basically it is a run up and down the streets throughout the community.  It was a very pretty run and very interesting to see all the nice homes.  But to me, I felt like we were going up hill after hill after hill.  Actually it starts out flat-ish for a half mile, but then the hills kick in and continue through about mile 2.5.  At the end, it is mostly down hill which is really nice.

All in all it seems like it will be a good course.  We ran it the first time at an 8:19 pace and then a second time at 9:27.  I admit, I started out too fast and was dragging after the first time through.  The second time we ran it much slower, but I really didn’t have much left.  I did get in 6 miles for the day and was only planning on 5, so I am 1 mile ahead of my running plan for the week.

Also yesterday, Neill challenged me to a virtual 7 mile race on the Nike+ app.  It is a pretty cool new feature.  Of course this challenge starts Saturday and I was to run 7 miles on Friday.  I try to keep Saturdays low mileage in preparation for my Sunday long run.  I’ll see how it goes.  He set it up to go until September 1, so I have time to work on it.  Should be fun.

That is about all I have for today.  My Chiropractor worked on my achilles some yesterday and it did feel better during my run.  It has started acting up again this week, but I’m glad it is doing better.

Until next time (tomorrow) – Keep on running!!!

Vacation / running / record month

It was a great weekend thanks to HM.

For Father’s Day HM took my lovely wife and myself to Chattanooga, TN.  He paid for the hotel, food and gas.  It was a great time and nice to get away for a couple of days.

Of course, as I planned this trip, I had to figure out where to run.  I looked online and found out that there is a bike/pedestrian path that runs next to the river appropriately called, “Riverwalk”.  So Saturday morning at 6:00 I went out to find this Riverwalk and to run my 8 miles.

It took a while for me to find the beginning of the main path, but some nice people on bikes pointed me in the right direction and I was on my way.

I had a great run.  It was beautiful, peaceful, and the course was relatively flat, especially compared to my neighborhood.  Here are some images I took with my phone as I ran…

The Riverwalk path

The Riverwalk path

The view from the Riverwalk path

The view from the Riverwalk path

My run on Saturday went really well.  I took Friday off running as I had run the 9 days prior and we had to travel after I got off of work.  So Saturday my legs were fresher and I felt much better than I had the past week.  It also didn’t hurt that it was about 30 degrees cooler than the last day I ran in my neighborhood.  So I pushed myself a bit, which I haven’t done in a while because of the heat.  I worked a few miles at trying to keep my marathon pace and was fairly successful.  To be honest, if it weren’t for my trying to find this path in the beginning, I would have averaged in the 8:00 – 9:00 range for the whole 8 miles.  Alas I ended up at 9:02 pace which isn’t bad.  In fact it is the best pace I have had since the heat kicked in serval weeks ago.

Sunday was different.  I woke up at 3:00 and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I really didn’t “feel” like running.  I was tired and sore, but I went out anyway and ran the Riverwalk.  It wasn’t nearly as fun, but I still managed a 9:58 pace for 8 miles.  My goal was to run 15 miles, but I ran out of time as we had to eat and check out of the hotel.  Also I was just tired and couldn’t do the extra miles, even after we got home yesterday afternoon.  So, sadly I missed my first 200 mile month by 7 miles.  Still it was my first month over 150 miles, so 193 isn’t shabby.

Looking forward, I think I will cut back this week and try to let my body heal.  My achilles is better, but did bother me yesterday.  Also during my Thursday run/walk in 101 degree heat, I wasn’t paying attention and tripped in a crack in the sidewalk.  I lunged forward and had to catch myself.  It really messed with my left hip which hasn’t been a problem since the half marathon in February.  It was better Saturday, but much worse on Sunday and last night I woke up in pain.

So, with 1o weeks to go to my marathon, I am having to pull my training back to recover.  On the bright side, it is not supposed to get out of the mid 80’s here for the next week.

Today is another planned off day and I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Thanks again HM for the trip!

Achilles fix? Maybe!

93 miles in 2 weeks.

43 miles last week.

13 miles on Sunday.

That is a lot of miles for a 50 year old who has been running just over a year.

Many of you know that I have suffered with achilles issues for some time now.  I haven’t been writing about it because my ice baths for my foot after running has been keeping the problem in check, but it has still been difficult at times.  One bad moment was when I was getting up from sitting and hit my heal into the back of the chair I was in.  That sent me through the roof.  An hour later I was out running and the run was okay, but I had more pain.  That was Friday.

I had been thinking about the logic of stretching my calf to relieve the pain in my achilles. Everyone says to stretch by leaning forward with the foot on the ground.  Yes I can feel the stretch in my calf, but I also feel the pull on my achilles.  Then I thought, many people will tell you to take time off from running and let it rest to get past the issue.  So why am I stretching and pulling against it if it needs to rest?  Finally I got a foam roller to roll on my calf.  I am to roll until I feel a knot and then hold the knot until it releases.  This I did.  But it is hard for me to spend more than a few minutes doing this along with other stretching, running, family, work, dog, etc.

All that to say, I did something Saturday night that allowed me to begin my run on Sunday with NO pain in my achilles.  I ran 8 miles until I began to feel a little pulling.  It was amazing to me.  It is like when it is hot outside for weeks and one morning you go out and it is cool.  Wow, what a difference.  You notice it right away.  That was my run yesterday.  Zero pain.  Ahhh.

So what did I do?

I laid in bed while TJ and my Lovely Wife and I watched the first Spirit of the Marathon.  I put my left knee up with my foot on the bed.  I took my right leg and set my calf directly on top of my knee.  Then I dug in.  I could apply as much pressure or as little pressure as I wanted.  I finally found a spot on the outside of my calf that hurt a lot, so I worked that area for over an hour.  It hurt, but it was easy to continue.  I just watched a movie and did about 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off of allowing my knee to massage and kneed my sore calf muscle.  That was it.

The next morning (Sunday), I got up out of bed for the first time in a long time with no pain.  I knew I did something right – finally.

I’m not saying that I am fixed.  After my run yesterday my achilles was pretty sore, so I did some more work on it last night, but not much.  I feel asleep too fast.  Still, I now know an answer that I hope will permanently fix my achilles.

Time will tell.

It was a good long run by the way.  I did well until the 12th mile and then stated to fade.  Much better than last week.  So I am making progress.

12 weeks until the Lehigh Valley Marathon!  I hope I’m ready.

A new experience for me; trail running!

What a great place to go for a run…

View of the lake right before our run - Beautiful!

View of the lake right before our run – Beautiful!

Yesterday I met Neill (@BigBigGeek) at Oak Mtn State park to run trails around the lake.  I haven’t been to that park in 10 years, I haven’t trail run much at all and I have never run with Neill.  So it was a day of new experiences and a lot of fun.

When I first got to the park, I drove to the lake and there was a triathlon going on. Swimmers were in the water and bikers were on their bikes. I have never seen a triathlon before, so it was pretty cool.  My late sister was training for a triathlon when she passed away in 2003.  I wonder if that might be something I would like to attempt one day.  Perhaps a future challenge?

I met up with Neill and we went for our trail run.  I was hesitant because with all the mileage I’ve put in the past week my achilles has been a bit tender and I was wearing some trail running shoes that I haven’t really used but a couple of miles.  It wasn’t a problem.  The trail was definitely a trail.  Rocks, roots, narrow and other runners and bikers.  We ran over 2 miles in one direction and then the same back.  Funny, it seemed like it was much more than just a couple of miles.  I guess it takes so much concentration not to trip (which I did once) that it just felt longer.  I had a great time talking with Neill as we ran and the lake and woods were beautiful.  I will be running this trail again.  It was fun.

Our path around the lake

Our path around the lake

After we got through with the trail, I ran with Neill back to his car and then I had to run another 1.5 miles to complete the 7 miles I planned the day.  I don’t know what it was, perhaps the trail run, the triathlon, or just all the people walking, biking and playing at the park, but I ran the best 1.5 miles I’ve run in a long time.  I felt like I could run as fast as I wanted and as far as I wanted.  I just felt free!!!  It was fantastic.

Running has been laborious lately.  The heat hasn’t been too bad, but it was really affected me in a negative way.  Everyday the past couple of weeks has been a difficult run other than last Monday with TJ.  Yesterday was such a blessing.  It was fun running with Neill; it was fun running the trail; it was fun watching the triathloners and it was fun running at the end.

It was fun and I am excited about running again.

No FEAR

After my recent achilles injury (the first of my short running career), I realized yesterday that I have been running in fear.  I think that I have known this all along, but it has gotten out of control.

Don’t get me wrong.  A certain amount of fear is good for a runner.  I know that I am not beyond getting a run ending injury, especially as I add speed and miles.  So when I say No FEAR, I don’t mean being stupid!  I mean that I’ve gotten to the point where I am so fearful of getting hurt that running isn’t fun anymore.  I spend much of my run literally doing mental checks of my body and making sure there isn’t something happening for which I need to stop my run.

So I am changing my attitude.  I will run and be careful, but not to the point of fear.  I will still soak my foot after my run and tape up, but I have decided to enjoy running again.  If I feel something that hurts, I’ll be careful, but if I stop at every ache and pain, I’ll never make my goal of a September marathon.

It is a new day!

Yesterday was hot.  TJ said real feel was 90, but I think with the heat radiating off the road, it must have “felt” hotter.  I use the Weather Bug app on my phone and as I saw storm clouds gathering, I kept checking the app for lightening.  It is really cool.  There is a part of the app called “Spark” that will tell you how far lightening is away from you.  It started 11 miles away and by the time I hit the 5 mile mark on my run lightening was 4 miles away.  I texted TJ to come home and I went inside.  5 minutes after TJ came in the door the storm hit.  I love technology.

Monday is a holiday so I am taking tomorrow off.  It is supposed to cool off and be a beautiful weekend.

I am going to enjoy running again!

No FEAR!